Ed Driscoll

Outrageous Sexist Calumny Averted Narrowly

In his latest “Best of the Web” post, James Taranto examines Hillary’s Democrat debate kerfuffles last week (also discussed by John Fund in the video above) and concludes:

Male Democrats routinely do what Mrs. Clinton stands accused of doing now: pout and play the victim. There is no question that such behavior is unmanly. But it would be an outrageous sexist calumny to suggest that it is womanly. It is childish: Little boys and girls pout and play the victim. Grown men and women do not.

What about the politics of all this? Maybe it is true that women respond better to men to such childishness. Certainly they have tended to vote more Democratic than have men in recent presidential elections. Will a woman’s playing the victim qua woman resonate even more with female voters than, say, Dukakis’s or Kerry’s crying over wounded patriotism? Perhaps. On the other hand, men vote too, and it also seems possible that they will find Mrs. Clinton’s bellyaching especially off-putting.

There is another danger for Mrs. Clinton in all this. Her great advantage in the Democratic field is that she is the only one of the top candidates who comes across as a grown-up. Barack Obama seems like a bright young man who may do great things when he grows up. John Edwards is Peter Pan, Esq.

Being a woman sets Mrs. Clinton apart from the boys. Whining like a girl reduces her to their level.

Read the whole thing.